Hundreds march against recent immigration arrests

BURLINGTON , Vt. Several hundred people marched in Burlington Saturday to stand up for human rights. It follows three arrests in Vermont by Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week alone.

“It makes me sad and it makes me sad for the country and it has to stop,” Andrew Mcavoy said.

On Friday, two immigration community leaders and members of Migrant Justice were detained: 24-year-old Enrique Balcazar, a farm worker whorecently served on state Attorney General T.J. Donovan’s Immigration task force; and 23-year-old Zully Palacios, a well-known member of the immigrant community in Burlington. ICE claims they are undocumented.

NBC5 spoke with Migrant Justice member Victor Diaz, translated by another member, Will Lambek.

“They’ve been held without communication. We haven’t heard anything from them since they were arrested,” Diaz said.

Undocumented farm worker Cesar Alexis Carrillo was also arrested earlier this week outside the Chittenden County Courthouse.

“I don’t want to live in a state or a country where this sort of thing happens. Where simply being accused of a crime puts you at risk of being separated from your family,” Tevye Kelman said.

Diaz knows a little something about what the three are going through. The dairy farm worker was arrested last spring and a similar march helped him get released.

“Honestly, I feel a lot of anguish and anger and sadness to see my companions detained,” Diaz said. “It’s so sad to see families separated and it’s just an incredibly sad feeling what ICE is doing, tearing our community apart.”

By Abby Isaacs for NBC5
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